Being charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is no laughing matter. However, are all individuals accused of driving under the influence truly guilty? The question is a significant one, and should have a simple, clear-cut answer. However, when you factor in human tendency for error, the answer becomes relatively clouded, and the line between sober and impaired can often be quite blurred.
Roadside devices used to determine an individual’s blood alcohol content (BAC) level are commonly administered by officers who believe that the individual is operating a motor vehicle while driving under the influence. However, it is critical that officers are properly trained in order to provide the most accurate results in making such a life-altering determination. That is, officers must be properly trained to use a Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) device. The officers must be capable and skilled in handling and using such a device and must be familiar with its limitations. Finally, the officer must inform the individual being tested that refusal to submit to the PBT does not mean that the individual will not be required to take an additional test to determine BAC level after that individual has been arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.
As we all know, machines and electronic devices are not always accurate, especially when they are not used properly. This holds true for a PBT, which simply stated, is a battery operated hand-held device. Consequently, many people believe that results stemming from preliminary breath tests should not be admissible in a court of law. Aside from inherent machine error, improper procedure in administering a Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) can be argued that the results of said test are not accurate, and therefore not admissible in court.